Friday, October 2, 2009


So, because dinner last night was a bit of a process, and all the steps looked delicious even on their own, we're switching it up with a cooking lesson today. And since I consider myself the utmost authority on pretty much everything anyway...why not. (Wow, my sarcasm hits high notes some days.)

Once in a great while I decide to spoil the husband with food that tastes really bad for him, even if it actually isn't. It makes him happy, and I feel far less guilty about the nights he gets nothing but salad for dinner.

Last night was Braciola, from a Giada recipe I altered...I heart Giada so much. How she makes this kind of food all the time and stays so gorgeously thin makes me think she may have made some sort of deal with the devil, and I respect that. But anyway, it's got a few steps...make it on a night you have some time to wait, it cooks a long time.

One 1-1.25lb flank steak
4 slices reduced fat Provolone cheese
2 oz(half cup) Romano cheese
handful chopped Italian parsley
1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 jar Marinara sauce (I like Newman's Own)
Salt and Pepper

First thing to do is pound the crap out of the steak to make it tender (it makes a huge difference on this one). Unfold the steak on some wax paper, then beat it with a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or whatever makeshift contraption you think will work...i.e. my juicer wrapped in cling wrap.

Note: I don't recommend the juicer route...the cling wrap totally broke and I got to clean smashed meat out of my juicer. But I was feeling creative. I think we own every kitchen gadget ever...but no tenderizer. Even though it was on our wedding registry...just sayin'...

Next, place the slices of provolone evenly across the steak. You may need to rip them into pieces to fit better.
Mix together the Romano, spinach, parsley, garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl, then spread the spinach mixture over the top of the steak and provolone.
Once all the yummy inside goodies are spread evenly, roll the steak up "jelly roll fashion."

If you, like me, have never fashioned a jelly roll, just roll it up tight starting at one end, making sure not to squeeze out the insides in the process.

If you have cooking twine, use it to tie up the roll to keep it together and shaped while cooking. If not, you can use toothpicks...I used about 6, I think. Spread them out evenly, and make sure and leave enough toothpick-end sticking out so you can remove them later. Sprinkle roll with salt and pepper.

The next step is browning the roll. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or stockpot. Place roll in pan, and let cook about 2 minutes.

Turn the meat on its side (a quarter turn) using tongs, and repeat til you get it brown all the way around. Takes about 8 minutes total. Turn the roll so it's seam side up.

Once you're all brown and it's smelling fabulous, reduce the heat to medium and add the cup of wine. Let it come to a boil, then add the jar of sauce. Stir the liquids together around the meat, and make sure plenty of sauce is on top of the roll. Cover, let it come to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low.

Just let it cook, but check it every half hour or so and spoon more sauce over the roll. If the bottom is getting too brown, you can flip it over after an hour.

After an hour and half, turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let sit for a few minutes. Take it out of the sauce, and place on cutting board. Carefully remove the twine or toothpicks (get them all!), then cut roll into six slices. I served with a carb (quinoa for me, linguine for the husband—I was feeling particularly generous last night) and steamed spinach. Yum, yum, yum.

One slice with sauce= About 390 calories, 22g fat, 1g fiber, 26g protein, 13g carbs

1 comment: